By Jane Pettit, blogger at Northern Mum
Having a baby is a magical, life-changing experience. It turns your world upside down and sends your emotions into a spin.
For many women, it is the most rewarding experience of their lives. But it isn’t always a bubble of perfection. Giving birth can unleash an onslaught of unexpected feelings that can be hard to deal with.
At some point, 80 per cent of new mums will feel down in the dumps with a touch of the baby blues. This is perfectly normal, but it can be difficult to handle when you feel low at a time that’s supposed to be one of the happiest of your life.
Give yourself a break
If you take a moment to think about what your body has just achieved, you might be able to give yourself a bit of a break. After producing a brand-new life, which is an incredible feat in itself, your body experiences a rapid decrease in oestrogen levels, you don’t get as much sleep, and you might be starting to breastfeed as well.
Let’s be honest – if all that isn’t emotionally overwhelming then goodness knows what is.
Caring for a baby is time-consuming and chaotic, so stop worrying about the state of the house and focus on your new family.
Celebrate the small stuff. When my babies were tiny, I counted having a shower and getting dressed as major wins! If that was all I did for the day, then so be it.
Find a friend
A problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t feel sad and alone.
Call a friend, grab your mum, ask someone over for a cuppa. Have a good cry if needs be. Talking about the blues helps to start defeating them. Just don’t keep it all bottled up.
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Get some air in your lungs
Once you have a baby, leaving the house can feel like mission impossible. What used to be a simple act is tricky when it feels as if you are packing for a weekend break instead of popping out for a pint of milk.
But a walk to the park or over to a friend’s house will stop you staring at the same four walls. The fresh air will fill your lungs as well as your baby’s, and mother nature will play her part in ensuring you feel better.
Food is your friend
Self-care often goes out of the window when you have a baby. Feeding another human and having to cope on little sleep takes it out of you.
Put simply, you cannot run on empty – you need to eat to keep up your physical and emotional strength. If you don’t have time to cook, ask for help or just bite the bullet and order a takeaway.
It’s important to make life easy in these early days.
Just remember, the baby blues often last just a week, maybe two. If you are struggling to shake them off after that, book an appointment with your GP. It’s better to get help before they get worse.
And through it all, don’t forget to enjoy your baby!
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